Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine is a political and humanitarian crisis which will permanently change the lives of 44 million Ukrainians. Ultimately, those most affected by this conflict will be people and their lives, changed by uncertainty, separation from loved ones, and psychological and emotional trauma, alongside the threat of violence, injury, and death.
The UNHCR are reporting casualties and significant numbers of people fleeing to safety, both within Ukraine and to neighbouring countries. It has been suggested that the Russian invasion will displace millions of people.
At this time, the UK must be part of a co-ordinated and proportionate response which is centred on the needs of people and rises above partisan rhetoric.
Although Boris Johnson has committed to opening the UK’s border to Ukrainian refugees in parliament, the current government has a poor track record on following through on its word to protect the safety of displaced peoples. For example, it continues to push its anti-refugee Nationality and Borders Bill through the UK parliament, despite criticism from the United Nations that it contravenes international human rights conventions.
Update (17:30, 28/02/2022): In the wake of news that those seeking to flee Ukraine are being filtered by nationality at the Polish border — with migrants from African nations being prevented from crossing — Asylum Welcome stands in solidarity with all civilians seeking to escape the Russian invasion and reaffirms its call for the UK government to open its borders to all individuals seeking sanctuary.